Monday, October 18, 2010

Mom to Michael Andrew
Born and Passed November 13th, 2008
Tucson, Arizona

Ours is a story about both devastating infertility and heartbreaking infant loss.  After a painful ovarian cyst ruptured in December of 2006, I was diagnosed with stage 4 endometriosis.  I was 28 years old and just couldn't believe why this was happening to us.  Over the next year-and-a-half, I went through a laparotomy surgery, several rounds of fertility meds (Clomid), and an intra-uterine insemination (IUI).  Unfortunately, nothing worked to help increase our chances of getting pregnant.  And so in June of 2008 we turned to in vitro fertilization (IVF).  Luckily, our first round resulted in a positive pregnancy test!  We were so excited, it seemed like our dreams were coming true and we were going to finally become a family after 9 years of marriage. 

I loved being pregnant and everything about it.  I hardly got sick, and loved seeing our little one at every ultrasound check-up.  Everything was going great...that is, until my 22 week ultrasound appointment.  My husband was out of town for work that week, so my best friend decided to come with me.  We were hoping to find out the sex of the baby, and then go shopping and have lunch afterward.  But all that changed.  During the ultrasound, the technician discovered that we were having a healthy baby boy but paused when she was measuring my cervix.  She seemed nervous, and my friend and I knew something was wrong right away.  The technician then politely excused herself to go find a doctor, leaving us alone in the room to worry and panic.  The technician and the doctor returned shortly, and after another ultrasound scan found that my cervix was prematurely dilated to 3 cm.  They performed an emergency cerclage (stitches) that day, to try and keep my cervix closed for as long as possible.  But I honestly think it was too late.  I was on strict bed rest at the hospital for the next 2 weeks; enduring an amniocentesis, steroid shots, magnesium and other medications to help stop labor, and several ultrasound scans to ensure the cerclage was still closed and tight.  I think my body continued to be in delivery mode though, and I began to have some cramping, contractions, and bleeding throughout the second week of my hospital stay.  And then in the early hours of November 13, 2008, our beautiful son, Michael Andrew, was born when my cerclage eventually tore. 

What I went through is called cervical insufficiency or an incompetent cervix (IC).  An IC is something that's fairly common, happening in about 1 out of 100 pregnancies.  It often happens without warning or contractions, and is the cause of most lost pregnancies in the second or early third trimester.  Currently a cervical scan is not part of routine pregnancy checkups...but it should be.  Our son fought to stay alive for 7 long hours that day before gently passing away.  He was 24 weeks gestation, so we knew the odds were only a 50/50 chance he would survive being born so early.  If only things could have been different, and my IC could have been discovered sooner.   

It's been nearly 2 years, and we still miss our little boy with all of our hearts.  It has been incredibly hard to pick up the pieces and move on, but we're doing our best.  I am so thankful for my amazing husband, and couldn't have asked for a better partner through all of this.  We've attempted two more rounds of IVF, with one resulting in a negative pregnancy test and the last resulting in a miscarriage at nearly 6 weeks.  We're not giving up hope though, and know someday (somehow) we'll be a family.  

You can contact Kendra at


Anonymous said...

what an amazing story. Our daughter was born at 24.6 weeks in 2005. She was also born in Tucson b/c we lived in Sierre Vista ( army base) I was flown there to deliver

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your story... We lost our first-born son, Aiden, after his premature birth at 21 weeks due to an incompetent cervix. It is heartbreaking to know that a simple check of my cervix could have saved his life. I wholeheartedly agree that this should be part of routine checks!

We have since delivered two healthy (full-term with cerclage) boys due to the knowledge that our son Aiden's life has given us.

Best wishes to you and remain hopeful! God bless~


Anonymous said...

So sorry for your losses. I got pg with twins on ivf#2 but lost them due to an ic in nov 2009. I just had an early loss the end of july. Will keep you in my thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Kendra, I am so sorry that you and your husband lost your beautiful and brave son Michael. I will keep you all in my thoughts.

My husband and I just lost our son Finn Ming at 22 weeks due to an IC on Feb 19, 2010. We miss him so much. He was perfectly healthy and beautiful and strong, just too little. He tried so hard though, and lived for 2 hours, but there was nothing they could do. It still seems like a surreal nightmare, that it couldn't possibly have happened.

We also have infertility issues (tried for 3 years before getting pregnant with Finn, with the help of laparotomy and clomid) and are getting stressed with trying to have another baby. I have so much love for my son Finn, and I want to share it with our future children.

I'll be sending you lots of hopeful thoughts from Illinois. Never give up!


Sherri said...

Hoping for you to find some way to have a child, and praying for you to continue healing after losing your precious Michael. We lost our Kristen on November 19th due to an incompetent cervix, I was 22 weeks the day she was born.

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